As widely predicted, Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference has focused on the forthcoming Mac OS X. But despite pundit predictions to the contrary, there were no multiprocessing Macs in sight.

Apple promises a public beta for Mac OS X this summer, but the company also announced that the final release will be delayed until January 2001, rather than later this year as first planned.

Developers glimpsed the fourth developer preview of Mac OS X. It included the final API specifications required by developers to completely upgrade their applications to take full advantage of Mac OS X. Developer Preview 4 also includes a version of Internet Explorer 5 specifically built for OS X.

Steve Jobs said: “With this Preview release, developers now have everything they need to make killer applications for Mac OS X. We are incredibly pleased at the support we are getting from many of the world’s best software developers for Mac OS X, the future of the Mac platform.”

Apple also announced that 200 developers have pledged support for OS X. These include Apple’s regular supporters, Adobe, Dantz, Canon, Quark, and new additions to the Apple stable, such as Alias|Wavefront who announced that Maya - the 3D application - will be available on the Mac for the first time with Mac OS X.

Mac OS X offers Java 2 Standard Edition support, which means Java applications running on Mac OS X will enjoy major speed and stability advantages. It is designed to run on all Macintosh computers using PowerPC G3 and G4 processor chips, and will require a minimum 64MB of memory.

Worldwide Developer Conference attendees will be treated to keynote speeches today from Mitch Mandich, senior vice president, worldwide sales, Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president, hardware engineering and Phil Schiller, Apple’s vice president of worldwide product marketing.

Apple also revealed that its share of the US PC market stood at 5.1 per cent in 1999, up from 4.5 per cent in 1998. Its revenue and unit shipments outgrew those of Dell Computer, Gateway 2000 and Compaq in each company's most recent financial quarter.